Articles

Warriors - WWII German Tank Crew (Summer) (72009) _________(EXT)

 

Manufacturer Warriors
Scale 1/72
Set Code 72009
Year Unknown
No. of Figures 4
No. of Poses 4
Additional Items None
Size Small
Material White
Colour Cream
Flash Level Low
Glue-ability Excellent (Super Glue Gel)
Convert-ability Difficult
Optimal Period 1939 – 1945

 

Review 

After issuing a first set on WWII Panzer crew dressed in winter attire, Warriors turned its attention to the summer appearance of those troops. Such approach is normal at this manufacturer, accustoming its 1/72 target groups with at least a couple of sets designed for a single subject. Surely, it is a more than a welcome strategy, giving room to the sculptor to create attractive poses dressed in a wide range of clothes and from this point of view as well others, Warriors’ Panzer series does not disappoint. The second set continues both the rich line proposed by the first one in terms of garment and the outstanding level of sculpture, so familiar at the company. Moreover, the experience gained with the first kit is somehow reflected in the second, at least the number of poses recording an increase from three to four. However, not only the good parts has been maintained or even improved, but also the not so delightful half figure approach, all featuring no legs.

Providing four minis, the kit covers all the hatches of any WWII German Panzer although mostly the crews were formed by five members, the gunner had not a dedicated top hatch. The Warriors summer Panzer crew is formed by an office as tank commander, loader, radio operator and driver and it is ideal for tanks featuring four hatches such as Tiger and King Tiger. Nevertheless, its members might be used without hesitation both in Panzers with fewer hatches as well as in plenty of armoured vehicles with hatches operated by crews dressed in Panzer uniform. For such cases the minis might cover more vehicles, a good think bearing in mind that most vehicle kits are delivered without crewmen.

The kit reached the shop shelves packed in the common Warriors 1/72 figure sets box, and a Panzer VI Tiger 1 was selected as base for two crewmen, wonderful painted in the artwork. Supplied in multiple parts spread on five sprues and without assembly instructions, the artwork remains the single source for putting together as manufacturer wantedvif it is not desired a conversion. Anyway, only heads and two arms are separated from the bodies, the assembly being more than facile and perfectly achievable with super glue gel, the perfect adhesive for resin.

In spite including just four figures, there are put forward three kinds of attire worn by Panzer crews, respectively the classic Panzer wrapper, overalls and definitely the most interesting one, a Panzer HBT working tunic worn here by the loader. The HBT Panzer uniform records two main versions, the second one being introduced quite early, in 1941. Even existing a great number of 1/72 sets on Panzer crews and the second version of HBT Panzer tunic is satisfactory covered, the first type is almost missing, the old Esci’s “Tiger II Henschell” representing the only one which might gave an interpretation over this interesting item of garment. Warrior’s set proposes its vision on HBT Panzer tunic First Type, also less worn and obvious, photographed than the second version characterised by the large chest pocket. Moreover, the artwork presents it accurately painted, the item being issued in various shades of reed green or feldgrau for Sturm Artillery. Except the jacket, the loader wears a M34 overseas cap and below the tunic it is also clearly seen his shirt. Featuring not only the trunk but also the upper part of the legs, the pants covering the lower limbs could be either the standard Panzer ones or the HBT version, modellers having the chance to paint them as they desired. The pose depicts a crewman a little raised from the hatch and keeps the left arm on the hatch in an attractive stance.

At its turn, the commander comes cut in the same area and dresses the standard Panzer wrapper and pants, his rank being emphasised by the officer visor cap, excellent folded for a more than genuine appearance. He has got headphones and the right hand seems holding the switch housing of the throat microphone while the left arm rests on the hatch. The headphones miss wires that could be scratch-built from metal wire, super glue gel doing its job at high standards, durable linking metal to resin. The tunic is worn loose allowing perceiving a small part of the shirt.

If the figures for turret possess a part of legs, the other two designed for the lower hull hatches are truly busts. Arriving cut from the chest pocket area it is a little bit difficult to 100 percent determine attire, but most certainly they are dressed in overalls although another interpretation could be 1944 pea dot tunics. Being summer, both decided to wear their overall unbuttoned up till the last button, so their shirts come into sight. They wear M43 caps and at the first glance the two busts look identical, but when more carefully studied, few differences are discovered. Perhaps the most important and the easiest to identify are the headphones endowing one of them, in the artwork interpretation representing the driver but his position might be switched with the radio operator.

The subtitle mentions summer as the intended season for this Panzer crew, but also in colder periods they would not appear odd while both Panzer tunics and overalls were commonly put on by Panzer crews even in winter. A huge number of references sustain the idea and if the hobbyist decides deployment of the crew in a cold season, then it is advisable do something related to the shirts, maybe a scratch-built scarf covering those being the most fitting.

Likewise, all these clothes were worn by Wehrmacht and Waffen SS troops, the Panzer wrapper recording various camouflage patterns specific to both units. Initially designed for Wehrmacht troopers, the HBT Panzer uniforms were greatly appreciated by Waffen SS, too. Diverging from the second pattern, when camouflage colours were extremely common, information on camouflaged reed green first pattern Panzer tunic are un-existent although tailor made such tunics might saw service together with their owners. Anyway, bearing in mind these facts, it is preferable paint the tunic in a classic reed green one. The M43 caps indicate the intention in depicting a Late War crew, but at least the other two minis with M34 caps can be used without fear in earlier war stages.

For the turret figs accidental falls in the vehicle are harder, especially through narrow hatches like Panzer II, III, and IV, but the two busts created for the lower hull hatches have the propensity for such misfortunes. Not only their thin size, but also the poses of arms, stuck to the bodies, facilitates critical drops that might mark their loss if the model kit already assembled, does not allow opening a wider part allowing extraction. In order to prevent a catastrophe, it would be appropriate use tweezers and glue the figures to the hatches.

The bust approach and the fact that the officer does not have belt make the crewman dressed in HBT tunic to be the single one that can receive a pistol holster. Binoculars are some of the few items a modeller might add, but neither these nor pistol holster are necessary taking into consideration that extremely often Panzer crewmen wore nothing on them. Anyway, due to size, the best additional gear is Caesar and then Preiser, the DML items being a hair larger and not fitting pretty good on these tankers which are released in the small/medium side of 1/72 scale.   

Adding Warrior’s Panzer summer crew will improve the appearance of any vehicle, not necessary Panzers, but also StuGs or armoured vehicles with hatches, providing proper places for these excellent figures. Depending on the number of hatches or even the number of opened ones, bearing in mind that most of manufacturers have the unpleasant custom of casting closed hatches and without personnel, the Warriors crew might be split and occupy more vehicles. Obviously, the ideal approach in this regard would be the two busts for one vehicle and the turret crewmen for another. However, emplaced as in the artwork, they might depict a crew in a peaceful area, the size of the driver allowing the representation not only of a stopped Panzer, but also of one on the move. 

In spite being just half figures or even less, the quality of details is spectacular, faces and attire really impressing, just as the other Warriors products on WWII Germans. The human anatomy is fully respected, the proportions of heads and palms entirely matching the sizes of bodies. Faces are brilliantly crafted, ears, noses, mouths and eyes individualising each figure. It might be just the reviewer’s opinion, but at the first glance it seems that the facial expressions of the two busts depict younger troopers, maybe enrolled in Waffen SS, 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend, a well-known unit seeing action in Normandy and Ardennes and formed by young soldiers commanded by experienced officers and NCOs. Clothes are perfectly done, with authentic creases, buttons, and insignia, including eagles on the caps. A small remark should aim the shoulder boards of both the HBT tunic and the ones on the overalls or M44 pea dot tunics, no matter what these are. Generally, for all the just mentioned pieces of garment regulations enforced that no shoulder boards or other insignia to be worn. Nevertheless, those rules were often infringed by soldiers as references shot in the period reveal and on the other hand, modellers have the option to remove those shoulder boards, exactly like they do with regular flash.

A small amount of thin film and flash delay the painting work of hobbyist with few minutes, the product being free of excess of resin and only a single small air-bubble appears on officer’s cap. Resin is high-quality, not easily breakable, fragile only at small joints. Painting is a real joy on resin, enamel, acrylics and artistic oils ideally hold fast on it, lasting in spite extreme handling. The painting work is done with little difficulty because of the small size of minis, persons with bigger fingers better provisionally sticking the troopers on additional devices.  

Considering both their size and garment, Warriors’ Panzer summer crew match the best with Retrokit’s “German tank crew travelling on their vehicle”, CMK’s “German armourers for Tiger I”, and Caesar’s “WWII German Panzer Crews”. Sharing the same sculptor, and bearing in mind that their attire was worn in colder periods, too, the present crewmen find excellent companions in Warriors’ “SS Winter Tank Crew”. 

Fragility of material, small number of minis, half-figure approach, and high price are criteria that make the product to address mainly to diorama builders and collectors. On account they enter in vehicles, being somehow protected and un-exposed to direct handling, permit usage on the wargaming table, too. The perfect sculpture, the extremely rare appearance of Panzer reed green Type 1 tunic as well as the  lack in supplying crews within model kits make Warriors crew an ideal and most interesting solution in bringing a human touch to any vehicle as well as in increasing the number of pieces of garment worn by Panzer crews.

 

Historical Accuracy 10
Anatomy 10
Poses Quality 10
Details Quality 9
Mould Quality 9
Sculpture 10
Recommendation/Utility 10
Reviewer’s Opinion 9